Episode 6: History, Music, and Mortality with David Childers and Phil Chaney
Today on Death, et seq. — history, music, and mortality.
In this week’s episode of Death, et seq., I am talking to two of my favorite people about two very different topics.
First, I’ll be talking to my uncle, Philip Chaney, about his experience growing up in a funeral family in a small town in Nebraska in the mid-20th century. There were two funeral homes in the county — one Catholic and one Protestant. The funeral homes were both combined with furniture stores, because there weren’t enough calls to make funeral directing a full time job. Another sideline for the funeral directors was running the ambulance service which Phil, as a teenage employee of the furniture store, also was involved in. We will talk about the history of the funeral and cemetery industries quite a bit in this podcast, because the human stories of how these industries developed can help us understand the legal rules and social norms that govern us today.
Second, I’ll be talking to my friend David Childers, a recording artist on Ramseur Records, the singer and guitar player that you hear along with my son Riley Sherman on the music that opens each episode of Death, et seq. Music is an important part of the rituals surrounding death, and I am looking forward to having a number of episodes in which I talk to musicians about the connection between music and mortality.
David plays five songs for us on Episode 6:
- Run Skeleton Run and Thanks to All appear on the album of the same name (2017)
- Swing Low, Sweet Chariot is a spiritual, the earliest known recording dates to 1909
- All I Ever Knew appears on The Overmountain Men album Glorious Day (2010)
- Can the Circle be Unbroken, which was originally written in 1907 and later adapted by a number of artists, most notably The Carter Family.
Here is the video for Run Skeleton Run by Corey Ziegler and Robert Childers that David mentions in the podcast: